Police officer helps pull burned California firefighter out of market fire

Firefighter Justin Costa reported in fair condition

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Firefighter Justin Costa is reported in fair condition in the burn unit at UC Davis Medical Center after being injured during a fire Monday at Hardester’s Market in Middletown, California. Lake County News reports Costa is a “paid call firefighter with the South Lake County Fire Protection District and also a Cal Fire employee.”

According to news reports, California Highway Patrol Officer Geno Cortez helped bring Firefighter Costa to safety. The interview with Officer Cortez is in the video above. Raw video from the fire is below from Cole Euken, David The Computer Guy and Quest for Details.


Firefighters arrived at the scene and began battling the flames.

“You could see one of the firefighters get thrown back, then he got on his feet, started screaming something,” Cortez said. “You could tell he was pointing inside that there was another firefighter in there.”

Cortez radioed for help and jumped into action.

“Shortly after that, about another minute in, I see the other firefighter jump out,” he said. “You could tell that he had been in the fire, his whole uniform was charred — and you know, smoky like he had been in the fire. You could hear him screaming, but I couldn’t tell what he was saying. At this point, I walked over in a hurry.”

Cortez said he didn’t know Costa, but he could tell he was in pain. Cortez and another firefighter then pulled Costa to safety.

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